Atomic layer deposition of the geometry separated Lewis and Brønsted acid sites for cascade glucose conversion

Wenjie Yang, Xiao Liu, Luke A. O’Dell, Xingxu Liu, Lizhuo Wang, Wenwen Zhang, Bin Shan, Yijiao Jiang, Rong Chen*, Jun Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Solid acid catalysts with bi-acidity are promising as workhouse catalysts in biorefining to produce high-quality chemicals and fuels. Herein, we report a new strategy to develop bi-acidic cascade catalysts by separating both acid sites in geometry via the atomic layer deposition (ALD) of Lewis acidic alumina on Brønsted acidic supports. Visualized by transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy mapping, the ALD-deposited alumina forms a conformal alumina domain with a thickness of around 3 nm on the outermost surface of mesoporous silica-alumina. Solid state nuclear magnetic resonance investigation shows that the dominant Lewis acid sites distribute on the outermost surface, whereas intrinsic Brønsted acid sites locate inside the nanopores within the silica-rich substrate. In comparison to other bi-acidic solid catalyst counterparts, the special geometric distance of Lewis and Brønsted acid sites minimized the synergetic effect, leading to a cascade reaction environment. For cascade glucose conversion, the designed ALD catalyst showed a highly enhanced catalytic performance.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2586-2596
Number of pages11
JournalJACS Au
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Bi-acidic catalyst
  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Brønsted acid site
  • Lewis acid site
  • Cascade reaction


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